- String Quartet No. 1, Op. 5
- Poems (3) for soprano and piano: Nocturne
- Andromède for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Fragment
- Chanson perpétuelle, for soprano & orchestra (or piano quintet), Op. 37
- String Quartet in F major
While the Petersen Quartet has recorded all sorts of repertoire since it signed with Capriccio in the middle '90s, this disc of French quartets from the fin de siècle is still something of a departure. Because while Beethoven and Schubert and Shostakovich all require the same sort of earnest commitment and intense attitude, Milhaud, Lekeu, Chausson, and Ravel are an entirely different bouillabaisse. This is not to say that they don't demand commitment; they do, but a completely different kind of commitment -- an objective yet more personal commitment. And this is not to say that they don't require an attitude; they do, but a wholly different attitude -- a lighter yet just as intense attitude. And, incredibly, the Petersen can make the switch. While no one would ever mistake it for a French-born quartet -- it's too in-tune for that -- the Petersen still sounds like it's under the skin of the music. Its Milhaud "First Quartet" sounds suave, sophisticated, and sincere, while its Ravel quartet sounds cool, lucid, and lyrical, that is to say, utterly idiomatic. Even better are its recordings of Lekeu's "Nocturne and Fragment," as well as Chausson's "Chanson perpétuelle" with soprano Juliane Banse. A protégé of Brigitte Fassbaender, Banse has the clear tone, the superb diction, and the passionate delivery to make these slender but hot-blooded works sound entirely enchanting. Capriccio's super audio sound is as clean and detailed as its conventional sound, but even deeper and warmer.